Meals on Wheels: Our critics review Orlando's best food trucks
Mobile eateries have come a long way. We combed bazaars, pods and parking-lot lunch stops - and sampled more than a hundred dishes - to bring you critical reviews of some of Orlando's best food trucks
Published: May 3, 2012
The Crooked Spoon Gourmet Food Truck
To be one of the most lauded and popular trucks in town, the Crooked Spoon keeps a secret ingredient on hand: panache. Sure, the menu is mostly sandwiches and burgers, but add chunky stoneground honey mustard aioli, pineapple relish and candied bacon to a cheeseburger and you've got the 420 ($8.50), a savory treat unworthy of the moniker “food truck fare.” Similarly, the six-cheese mac & cheese ($8.50) is zapped to life by hunks of red and yellow peppers and pushed over the top by aromatic seasoned breadcrumbs. The food moves fast and comes packaged for the walking patron, making the Spoon an easy must-try.
One of the few trucks where vegans and vegetarians can get their fill, Eclectic Kitchen's southeast Asian-inspired cuisine is fresh and straightforward. Though they occupy a semipermanent spot at the corner of Ferncreek Avenue and Michigan Street, it's best to check ahead on Twitter to make sure they're serving lunch. If they are, count yourself in luck. Vegan spring rolls ($5) sing with the crunch of green papaya and silky marinated tofu; the cucumber relish accompanying grilled chicken satay ($8) is cooling and tempers the soy-heavy peanut sauce. Chicken-basil stir fry ($7) is a favorite, but it sells out quickly (consider yourself warned).
The best Middle Eastern food is a combination of fresh vegetables and lots of spice. Fantastic Hummus serves up of the classics - like spanakopita and shawarma, or, on their menu, “spinach pie” ($2) and “shwerma” ($6). The spinach pie was attractively served open-faced, like a quiche, and the shawarma meat was griddle-cooked and served on a warm pita with a tart yogurt sauce. (Best of all, each had loads of spice.) There are lots of options for vegetarians without having to resort to something fried - although the falafel looked excellent.
Serving classic Brazilian comfort dishes, the Feast Beast's ferocious truck design doesn't upstage the fierceness of the food. The creamy shrimp stew Bobo de Camarao ($8) is a treat, dotted with tiny, tender shrimp, coconut milk, tropical palm oil and just the right amount of acid for balance, served over white rice. Don't miss their signature marinated, grilled chicken hearts ($5), which practically explode in your mouth like little flavor bombs. Feast Beast doesn't neglect the classics, either - Brasileiros are assured of getting their fill of feijoada, cod fritters and pão de queijo no matter what.